Go big or go home: Prime Video reveals six new Amazon Originals for 2023

Prime Video

Prime Video Australia increases investment with The Test 2, Wiggles doco, five stand-up specials plus comedy and drama series

Prime Video Australia held its 2023 showcase event in Sydney last night revealing an increased investment in Australian content.

The Amazon streaming platform invited media from around Australia to hear from Prime Video executives and the producers and stars of the new shows.

The 140 guests learnt about six new series that will add to a previously announced three series to make 2023 the biggest year of Australian commissions yet for Prime Video Australia.

The evening was hosted by Joel Creasey who also gets his own series. Creasey hosted the previous Prime Video showcase held 12 months ago.

Jodi Matterson, Asher Keddie, Bruna Papandrea, Leah Purcell

The guest list included the Australian cricket team’s Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland (The Test season two), acting royalty Asher Keddie and Leah Purcell, Australian retired soccer player Craig Foster, comedy gurus Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan with their star Kate Box (Deadloch), comedians Dave Hughes, Rhys Nicholson and Tommy Little, and The Wiggles Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt (Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles).

Prime Video showed preview clips of the previously announced scripted series that will be joining the new series with 2023 premieres – Class of ’07, Deadloch, and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart.

Adding to Prime Video’s slate of 23 Australian Amazon Originals commissions since 2019, the six new unscripted titles announced during the evening were:

• Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles, produced by Augusto, Frog Productions, SAM Content

• Dance Life, produced by EQMedia, Biscuit Tin Productions, and Creative Bubble

• The Defenders, produced by Sweetshop & Green

• Hugh van Cuylenburg G.E.M, a live special produced by Princess Pictures

• Five Australian stand-up specials, by comedians Joel Creasey, Rhys Nicholson, Dave Hughes, Tommy Little, and Lizzy Hoo, from a variety of production teams. (See details below)

• A second season of The Test was also announced, in collaboration with Cricket Australia.

Tommy Little, Dave Hughes and Rhys Nicholson

Joining comedian Joel Creasey onstage during the evening were Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand; Tyler Bern, head of content for Prime Video Australia, New Zealand, and Canada; Magda Grace, director, Prime Video Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; and Sarah Christie, senior scripted development executive at Amazon Studios, Australia.

“Prime Video is proud to announce that 2023 will be its biggest year for launching Australian content to local and international customers, with a record nine new Australian Amazon Originals launching next year,” said Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand. “We continue to be incredibly focused on investing in and developing the world’s best talent, to deliver the highest quality content for our Prime Video customers in Australia and around the world.”

“Prime Video has announced 23 Australian Amazon Original commissions since 2019. We have been actively developing, commissioning, and acquiring local projects, and we are thrilled that our Australian customers are connecting with our local content,” said Tyler Bern, head of content, Prime Video Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. “From world-famous musicians with legions of fans, like The Wiggles, to the gripping story of refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, and the Australian cricket team back for The Test Season Two, 2023 will showcase a diverse breadth of stories we have to tell here in Australia.”

Six new Australian Amazon Originals coming to Prime Video

• The Test Season Two: Produced by Amazon Studios, Cricket Australia, and Whooshka Media, Season Two of Prime Video Australia’s biggest sports documentary release to date will show an intimate side to the Australian men’s cricket team, as they strive to be the best in the world. Weeks away from the first Ashes Test match, Pat Cummins takes on the captaincy in the wake of Tim Paine’s decision to resign. Faced with Paine’s departure, along with Justin Langer’s looming resignation from the role of senior coach, Cummins and the team now hold the responsibility of writing their own legacy. The Test Season Two is an insight into modern leadership and empowerment at the highest level of sport. And along the way, the players invite us into their lives away from the field. The four-part series is co-directed by Adrian Brown and Sheldon Wynne from Wooshka Media.        

Jeff Fatt, Sally Aitken and Murray Cook

• Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles: Calling themselves The Wiggles after the way young children move, four young men; Anthony, Murray, Greg and Jeff, and a dinosaur called Dorothy, seemed an unlikely basis for a global sensation. Both a celebration and exploration of more than thirty years of The Wiggles phenomenon and their re-emergence into the cultural zeitgeist in 2022. The story of The Wiggles has never before been shared in a feature-length documentary and the extraordinary behind-the-scenes personal footage has never previously been seen. The director is Sally Aitken, with Fraser Grut co-directing.

• Dance Life: Produced by EQMedia, Biscuit Tin, and Creative Bubble, the five-part documentary series gives a peek behind the curtain of the Australian dance institution Brent Street, the Southern Hemisphere’s leading dance academy. The goal of a student at Brent Street is clear: Wow them at “Agent Week” and get a lead role for the final dance graduation at the end of the year, and your path is set. But only a small minority will achieve dance stardom. The series is created and produced by Jade Barnes and Luke Cornish and is now shooting in Sydney.

• The Defenders: A feature-length documentary produced Sweetshop & Green, The Defenders tells the true story of how Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini footballer turned political refugee, was arrested while on his honeymoon in Thailand under an invalid Interpol warrant. Outraged at a fellow Australian player being imprisoned, former Socceroo captain Craig Foster becomes the unlikely leader of a team of human rights activists, social media warriors, and ordinary Australians who launch a campaign to #SaveHakeem. This is the true story of how a group of ordinary people battled against the odds to rescue a player’s life and try to save the very soul of the game itself.

• Hugh van Cuylenburg G.E.M: Hugh is the best-selling author of The Resilience Project and Let Go. He is also the co-host of the popular The Imperfects podcast. Through engaging storytelling and unpacking the research into simple tips, Hugh’s talk will give Prime Video customers a chance to learn positive mental health strategies which help them become happier and more resilient. The 90-minute special is produced by Princess Pictures.

• Five Australian stand-up specials: Featuring some of Australia’s most well-known comedians. The specials are Dave Hughes: Ridiculous; Tommy Little: Pretty Fly for a Dickhead; Lizzy Hoo: Hoo Cares, from Guesswork Television; Joel Creasey: Queen of the Outback; and Rhys Nicholson’s Big Queer Comedy Concert, from Big Yellow Taxi.

Previously revealed titles will be released globally on Prime Video in 2023. All series were filmed locally in Australia.

• Class of ’07: Creator, writer, and director Kacie Anning (Amazon Original Upload Season One), producer Mimi Butler, and actor Megan Smart were in attendance to present clips of the upcoming series. When an apocalyptic tidal wave hits during the 10-year reunion of an all-girls college, a group of women must find a way to survive on the island peak of their high school campus. Clips included a first look at the high-concept series, which was shot on location in Sydney. Class of ’07 is produced by Matchbox Pictures—part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group—and Amazon Studios.

Kate McLennan, Kate Box and Kate McCartney

• Deadloch: Showrunners, writers, and executive producers Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan were in attendance, along with producer Andy Walker and executive producer Tanya Phegan. McCartney and McLennan participated in a conversation about their upcoming mystery comedy Deadloch along with actor Kate Box, who stars as Senior Sergeant Dulcie Collins. An exclusive first-look clip gave audiences a glimpse of what to expect in the new offering—the fictional Tasmanian town of Deadloch, a once-sleepy seaside hamlet, is left reeling when a local man turns up dead on the beach. The series, produced by Guesswork Television, OK Great Productions, and Amazon Studios, was shot in Tasmania in early 2022.

• The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart: Executive producer Jodi Matterson, and Australian actors Leah Purcell and Asher Keddie presented a first look at the highly anticipated seven-part series, which is a screen adaptation of Holly Ringland’s debut Australian novel. It is produced by Made Up Stories, Amazon Studios, and Fifth Season, and also stars Sigourney Weaver, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and Alexander England. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart tells the emotionally compelling story of Alice Hart. When Alice loses her parents in a tragic and mysterious fire, she is taken to live with her grandmother June on a flower farm, where she learns that there are secrets within secrets about her and her family’s past.

Top photo
Top row L-R: Dave Hughes, Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt, Tommy Little
Bottom row L-R: Leah Purcell, Tyler Bern, Sarah Christie, Hushidar Kharas, Asher Keddie, Megan Smart

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